Heyhoe Flint, who died in 2017 on the age of 77, made her England debut in 1960 and captained the nationwide aspect in a profession spanning twenty years. She was massively instrumental in establishing the inaugural Ladies’s World Cup in 1973, main England to victory within the inaugural event. Her performances on the sphere led to her induction into the ICC Corridor of Fame in 2010.
Heyhoe Flint made additional historical past in 1976 when she grew to become the primary girls cricketer to set foot – in a enjoying capability – on the Predominant Floor at Lord’s. She remained a devoted advocate for ladies’s inclusion within the sport as soon as her enjoying profession ended and was pivotal within the marketing campaign to permit girls to turn into Members of MCC in 1998.
The next 12 months, Heyhoe Flint grew to become one of many first feminine members of the membership, alongside 9 different girls elected to Honorary Life Membership of MCC. In 2004, historical past was made once more when she grew to become the primary lady to affix the MCC Committee. A portrait of Heyhoe Flint, unveiled in 2010, is displayed within the Pavilion at Lord’s, above the doorway to the Lengthy Room.
“Rachael Heyhoe Flint was not solely among the best feminine gamers to have performed the sport, however her pioneering drive to additional the reason for girls’s cricket for future generations has left a outstanding legacy and impression on our sport,” Clare Connor, MCC’s president, stated.
“Rachael’s affect in making it attainable for ladies to play and watch cricket at Lord’s, and take part within the sport extra broadly, was unparalleled and her contribution in breaking down limitations for ladies in cricket will all the time be remembered. The opening of the Heyhoe Flint Gate is a becoming celebration of that drive and contribution throughout an historic summer season of ladies’s sport.
“Right here at MCC, we’re thrilled to have a everlasting commemoration celebrating Rachael’s impression on and off the pitch, as she joins WG Grace in changing into solely the second cricketer to have a gate named after her at Lord’s.”
The previous East Gate was changed and renamed the Heyhoe Flint Gate at an official ceremony earlier than the primary day’s play, with Rachael’s son Ben becoming a member of Connor and Chief Government & Secretary Man Lavender in opening the gate. In accompaniment, a bas reduction sculpture of Rachael Heyhoe Flint and plaque have been additionally unveiled.
“The household are really humbled by this unbelievable gesture from MCC, and from the game,” Ben Heyhoe Flint stated. “Mum gave her life to the sport, so it is fantastic that the sport now chooses to honour her: her contributions then, and the legacy she nonetheless leaves behind. I hope many younger cricketers – girls and boys alike – cross by way of right here and really feel impressed by this memorial to a girl who gained by way of with a measured mix of assault and defence!”